• Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal sits down for an interview with Reginald Roggers, Assistant Editor of the Paraglide, about the state of the Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal sits down for an interview with Reginald Roggers, Assistant Editor of the Paraglide, about the state of the Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal begins a tour of Fort Bragg hosted by FORSCOM Commander Gen. David M. Rodriguez (to his left) just outside the U.S. Army Forces Command headquarters after a senior level brief of the state of Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal begins a tour of Fort Bragg hosted by FORSCOM Commander Gen. David M. Rodriguez (to his left) just outside the U.S. Army Forces Command headquarters after a senior level brief of the state of Army, Dec. 4...

  • Maj. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, briefs Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal on advanced special-operations training courses during a tour of SWCS facilities, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. SWCS, which runs the Army's special-operations training and education programs, manages advanced-skills units including the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Fla., Special Forces Advanced Mountain Operations School in Fort Carson, Colo., Military Free Fall School in Yuma, Ariz. and Special Forces Sniper School at Fort Bragg.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Maj. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, briefs Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal on advanced special-operations training courses during a tour of SWCS...

  • Col. B. Ashton Naylor, commander of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), briefs Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal on special-operations training standards during a tour of Fort Bragg, N.C. training facilities, Dec. 4. Naylor's unit, which oversees initial qualification and advanced-skill training for the Army's Special Forces, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations regiments, is part of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Col. B. Ashton Naylor, commander of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), briefs Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal on special-operations training standards during a tour of Fort Bragg, N.C. training facilities, Dec. 4...

  • Lt. Col. Steven Basilici, commander of 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) on Fort Bragg, N.C., speaks with Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal during a tour of the Miller Training Complex on Fort Bragg, Dec. 4. Basilici's battalion uses the Miller Training Complex to run advanced-skills special-operations courses including the Special Forces Sniper Course.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Lt. Col. Steven Basilici, commander of 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) on Fort Bragg, N.C., speaks with Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal during a tour of the Miller Training Complex on Fort Bragg, Dec. 4...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal speaks with Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, during a tour of Fort Bragg, N.C., which included walkthroughs and senior-leader meetings at facilities run by the U.S. Army Forces Command, 18th Airborne Corps and U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Dec. 4.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal speaks with Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, during a tour of Fort Bragg, N.C., which included walkthroughs and senior-leader meetings at...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal reads the names and official biographies of fallen special-operations medics, hanging on the wall of honor in the Special Warfare Medical Group (Airborne) headquarters during a Dec. 3 tour of Fort Bragg, N.C. The SWMG(A) course catalog includes the Special Operations Combat Medic course and Special Forces Medical Sergeant course, where students learn a variety of general and emergency healthcare techniques.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal reads the names and official biographies of fallen special-operations medics, hanging on the wall of honor in the Special Warfare Medical Group (Airborne) headquarters during a Dec. 3 tour of Fort Bragg...

  • Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general leads Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal to a senior level brief about the state of Army at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg headquarters, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements, to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force, and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general leads Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal to a senior level brief about the state of Army at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg headquarters, Dec. 4, Fort...

  • Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general leads Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal from a brief where he and his staff provided Westphal with feedback on key unit initiatives so he can better advise the Secretary of the Army and prioritize Army resources, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C.  The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements, to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force, and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general leads Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal from a brief where he and his staff provided Westphal with feedback on key unit initiatives so he can better advise...

  • Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general speaks with Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal during a recent trip by Westphal to gain greater situational awareness of key Army initiatives, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements, to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force, and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general speaks with Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal during a recent trip by Westphal to gain greater situational awareness of key Army initiatives, Dec. 4, Fort...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal sits down for an interview with Reginald Roggers, Assistant Editor of the Paraglide, about the state of the Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements, to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force, and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal sits down for an interview with Reginald Roggers, Assistant Editor of the Paraglide, about the state of the Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role...

  • Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal sits down for an interview with Reginald Roggers, Assistant Editor of the Paraglide, about the state of the Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role of Fort Bragg as the Army transforms and prepares for future requirements, to reinforce the importance of Decisive and Sustainable Land power and the Army's role in the Joint Force, and to underscore the extensive capabilities and interdependence of combined operations between Army Conventional and Special Operations Forces.

    Army under secretary optimistic about Army's future role

    Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal sits down for an interview with Reginald Roggers, Assistant Editor of the Paraglide, about the state of the Army, Dec. 4, Fort Bragg, N.C. The purpose of Dr. Westphal's trip was to highlight the vital role...

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Dec. 4, 2012) -- Building a strong partnership between the Army's conventional and special operations forces is one of the service's key areas of focus as it transitions from operations in Afghanistan and looks toward the future, said Army Under Secretary Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, during his visit to Fort Bragg on Dec. 4.

Westphal was quick to point out that the Army remains fully engaged in its current mission in Afghanistan but is also focusing on developing its strategy for the future.

"We're not focusing less on the mission in Afghanistan," he said. "I was just there with the vice chief of staff, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III. We have a lot left to do there to sustain the training of the Afghan forces and their military police, who are making great progress. That progress is critical to our ability to eventually leave Afghanistan in good shape."

"We should be very focused on that mission. We still have about 60,000 American Soldiers still in harm's way there and we're going to make sure we support them and give them the appropriate resources they need to finish the job," Westphal said.

He acknowledged that the Army also has other responsibilities. One of those includes a seamless transition into a force that is capable of providing decisive results across a full range of missions, including humanitarian, joint force and support to civil authorities. He said an area that would receive a closer look is the Asia-Pacific region.

"We're focused on transitioning to a strategy that places a greater focus on the Asia-Pacific region of the world. It's a huge area in terms of trade and commerce and it is of strategic importance to the United States' national security. So we're very focused on re-balancing our overall effort to that region," Westphal explained.

The under secretary said the force is also dealing with various budget issues that require leaders to think about how to re-shape the force of the future, a process that has garnered attention from Army Secretary John McHugh and Gen. Ray T. Odierno, the Army's chief of staff.

During his trip to Fort Bragg, Westphal visited with leaders at the U.S. Army Forces Command, including Gen. David M. Rodriguez, FORSCOM's commanding general; the XVIII Airborne Corps, where he met with Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general and U.S. Army Special Operations, where he was met by the USASOC commanding general, Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland.

"I had a tremendous visit today starting with Forces Command. There's tremendous work being done to shape the force of the future here to align it with our (Army force generation) model," Westphal said during his visit with internal media at the Fort Bragg Silver ramp at nearby Pope Field. "Then, we were off to see our special forces and see some of their training capabilities. I saw some amazing things today. It tells me a lot about our Army, the strength of our formation, the way we develop and train and the priorities that we set. I came away being truly impressed with what SOF is doing across all of its components."

Westphal said he was also impressed with Fort Bragg's paratroopers and Soldiers. He said that as the Army transitions to a unified land operations concept, special operations and conventional forces are expected to become more integrated in the Army's overall mission.

"I saw that relationship in the last training exercise, the Decisive Action Training Exercise, that we had at Fort Polk, La. and it worked extremely well," Westphal said. "It think it's been working very well in theater and it continues to work in terms of our developing strategic alignment."

He pointed out the partnership of SOF and the conventional Army force is a key element in the Army's new strategy.

"I think it's the way of the future and I think conventional forces and SOF are ready-made to work together to create a strong capability to meet the challenges that we may face in the future. I think it's working very well," he said.

Westphal said strength and versatility are key attributes that the Army must maintain in the future.

"One of the things that people don't understand about our Army is that over its 237 years, it has been very successful at shaping the environment to basically, not engage us in war and to sustain peace," he explained. "I think that's what we're looking for this Army to do. It's a versatile Army, of tremendous diversity in its capabilities and with that, we hope it can shape an environment that can keep us out of harm's way."

Westphal noted that Fort Bragg is a critical asset to the future of the Army and to the country. He said he does not expect to see any significant changes taking place at Fort Bragg in the future. But he cautioned that pending any future budget cuts, it's too early to tell for sure.

"I think the elements that are here and sustaining that capability are going to be critical to our force in the future so I think Bragg is in good standing," he added.

Westphal said families and Army civilians are also important elements in Army readiness. He said the Army is fully committed to taking care of Soldiers and their families.

"We are absolutely adamant that we're going to protect the resources needed to ensure that we're going to take care of our Soldiers and their families. We've made a lot of effort to look at duplication, redundancy and to eliminate programs that aren't needed in favor of programs that are needed for families," he explained.

Westphal said vigilance is of the utmost importance as the Army continues to face the challenges of a world that has become more dangerous.

"The United States is no longer an island. We're vulnerable, as we saw ourselves attacked in 2001. Now here we are in 2012, worrying about a significant amount of turmoil in other parts of the world," he said. "I think the United States has to be vigilant. We need a strong national security element. We need a strong Army, one that is able to react quickly and defend this country at any place and any time. We have to make sure we translate that well to the American people."

Westphal said he was equally impressed with the amount of support that Fort Bragg and its Soldiers receive from the local community.

"Fayetteville and all of the surrounding communities have always impressed me every time I've come here, in terms of their support of our men and women in uniform and our civilians," he said. "I think it's a great community environment. I believe that this is an incredibly rich environment to not only grow as families and as individuals, but, in which to develop and shape the force of the future. Fort Bragg is a great place."

Page last updated Tue December 4th, 2012 at 00:00